They may have a little discographic appearance, but for the fact that it is one of the first bands that played true Doom/Death-Black Metal, they are included in the group of the legendary bands of this sound. Moreover the fact that it is the first female band that played that kind of sound makes things more interesting... After many years of absence of the scene, Derketa is here once again to give us pure, primitive Death-Black. We contacted Sharon, a very interesting personality in my opinion, and she talked to us about the history of the group and their future plans.
1. Hi Sharon and thanks for the interview. Give us some information about Derketa. It's a really old band so give us your experience during those years.
Sharon :Hello! Thanks for sending the interview. Long story short….Terri and I formed Derketa back in 1988, put out our first recording in 1989. In 1990 we released the Unholy Ground demo and in 1991 we put out the Premature Burial 7”. Mary Bielich joined up on bass then shortly after the release of the 7”, Terri, Mary and I parted ways. I had worked with various drummers over the years to keep Derketa going but it never felt right. Terri and I have reformed Derketa with the original lineup except Mary is now on guitar instead of bass. We brought our friend Robin Mazen in to play bass and are now a 4 piece. The current lineup is:
Sharon Bascovsky – Vocals/Guitar
Mary Bielich – Guitar
Robin Mazen – Bass
Terri Heggen - Drums
2. I thinκ that you play death metal but with a strong touch of BLACK METAL. What is your opinion? From where do you get inspired to write music and lyrics?
Sharon :I don’t know, I don’t really think of us as a Black Metal band but I guess Black Metal can be interpreted into most death metal. I consider us more of a death metal band with doom influence, more on the depressing side of death metal I guess. As far as inspiration, that’s hard to explain. It just kind of happens. I'm really interested in the whole concept of ghosts and the supernatural and that seems to be the basis on my lyrical writing. Just odd thoughts that I have, and not sure why those thoughts are there in the first place, but I like to have fun with it. When writing music, I usually just stumble over some notes that I find interesting and will write the song around those notes. Mary and I are now writing together and we’re having a blast in doing so. She has brought a great doom influence into the band.
3. Did you ever meet any sexual racism because you are a female band?
Sharon :Yeah, and we don’t respect the people that think that way about us. It’s a very shallow way of thinking and if people can't get past the fact that we’re female, or think we only are liked because we are female, then that’s their issue. Not ours. We just ignore it. For us, we don’t limit ourselves by how the band members look; if their music is good then we’ll listen to them.
4. Are you a Satanist? What is 'religion' for you in general and what role plays in your everyday life?
Sharon :No, we’re not religious at all and don’t understand the whole Satanic seriousness but whatever people are into is their own choose. We don’t respect the Satanists that kill animals, or kill anything for that matter; we have a big problem with that. We just want to have fun in life and are general nice people really. There is no god that we follow.
5. Are you working on new material at the moment? How will it sound? Will it be in the same Derketa style? When will you release something new?
Sharon :Yes! We are about to record a full length called “In Death We Meet”, which will have about 8 or 9 new unrecorded songs. Recording is about to start, and will be complete in January/February the latest. Robin lives in Tampa, Florida and is constantly on tour doing merch for bands so we’re limited on time for recording and shows. She is coming up in January for our live show and will lay down her bass tracks then. If she doesn’t finish then she is flying back up in February. The new material is in the same Derketa style as we have not progressed musically since we started. We still have the same ideas musically and when you hear it, you’ll be able to recognize that it is Derketa.
6. What kind of music do you like? Is there anything that you recently listened to and stuck in your mind?
Sharon :I like all kinds of music really, except Rap or Country music, I can't relate to those genres and they really get under my skin. I've been listening to the Rottrevore Iniquitous CD the last few days and have that stuck in my head. Bolt Thrower is always a constant in my CD player, as is Celtic Frost and Iron Maiden. But I also like music from the 70’s, the stuff that I listened to growing up. I like bands like Supertramp, Blondie, Rush, Eagles. I absolutely love the song “Cat’s in the Cradle” by Harry Chapin. I have a radio in my kitchen that I keep on this light FM station that just plays songs from the 70’s, it's always on during the daylight hours and keeps me in a good mood. Right now that station is playing Christmas songs 24/7, which I like but its getting a bit much. I do enjoy Christmas songs actually, in my older years I have more of an appreciation for stuff like that, but i'm looking forward to when they switch back to the 70’s music. So for now the Rottrevore CD is playing on it.
7. What's your opinion about Black and Death Metal scene in the U.S.A.? Are there any bands that you respect for music and/or attitude? What is your relationship with Nunslaughter?
Sharon :I think the US has a strong presence in the Black and Death Metal scene, it's grown tremendously over the years. There's a ton of bands that I have respect for; Rottrevore, Funerus, Immolation, Sathanas, Nun Slaughter, Abysme, Incantation, Acheron, Lethal Prayer just to name a few. We’ve been good friends with Nun Slaughter since back in the 80’s, and we still continue that friendship. Nun Slaughter are family to us and will always be family. That is why we asked them to play with us for our first live show and we’re all really excited about it. Nun Slaughter originated from Pittsburgh, but as the years went on, Don had moved to several states and ended up in Cleveland Ohio. He had taken over on vocals, originally he played bass, and once he got Jim Sadist on drums, they haven’t stopped to take a rest! Their music is extremely brutal and catchy, and they are one of the most entertaining bands to see live. I call them the ‘chatter champs’ as their talking in between the songs is by far the best that i've ever seen any band do. They give a full performance, not just with the songs.
8. Do you play live? Which countries have you visited for a live show?
Sharon :We’re playing our first live show here in Pittsburgh on January 15th, 2011 with Nun Slaughter and Abysme. I flew up to Canada to see Sacrifice back in 1988, but haven’t made it to any shows over in Europe yet. We're hoping that Derketa can play Europe one day but we don’t have the money to finance it so we’ll have to play it by ear.
9. Have you ever visited Greece? Do you know if you have any fans here in Greece? Do you like any Greek band?
Sharon :I've never been to Greece but would love to some day. I like Europe in general, such an old history and the old buildings are incredible. We used to write to quite a few people from Greece but not sure how we are seen in recent years. With emails its hard to know where people are writing from. I'm really into the first Rotting Christ demo, but haven’t heard anything recent from them. That demo is one of my all time favorites.
10. Tell me about your plans about new releases and live shows.
Sharon :Our plans are to get this recording done as soon as possible, and just start playing the odd ball show here and there whenever Robin is available to do so. Our first ever live show is Saturday, January 15th, 2011 here in Pittsburgh and it will be video taped. Our next show will be around April with a band called Grave Decent from Buffalo. No date set with it yet but we’ll have it posted on our facebook page to get the word out when the time comes. We are also going to appear on a local ghost investigation show called Ghost Story TV (www.ghoststorytv.com), where the band will go along and investigate with the crew. Kind of like the “underground meets the underworld” type of thing. We’re all very excited about that as I think it will be tons of fun watching each other get spooked by any little noise we might hear! That will take place on one of Robins trips up here, either in January or February. We haven’t determined which building we will investigate but will post information once we know for sure.
Thanks for the interview and good luck with everything. i'm looking forward to seeing you live in Greece!
Sharon :Thanks for sending the interview! We’re still working on getting the www.derketa.com website up and running but it should be up soon. It's been “under construction” for about ten years now as I had forgotten my login for it and couldn’t be bothered with it really. That’s been sorted out so hopefully by 2011 we’ll have something up. We’re mainly on facebook these days so if you have a facebook account, be sure to look for us. Hopefully one day we’ll be able to make it to Greece!